The Mentioned in Dispatches podcast was set up in February 2017. It is the weekly podcast of the Western Front Association that covers all aspects of the Great War. At the time of writing, over 189 programmes have been broadcast that have achieved over 1/3 million downloads.
Its objectives were to:
- Showcase the WFA, its members, talks, and publications.
- Further WFA objectives of education and promoting interest in the Great War.
- Raise membership by using a new medium to reach potential members especially in demographic groups not traditionally engaged by the WFA (e.g. younger people).
- Provide a ‘platform’ to market the WFA’s other publications, activities, events and initiatives e.g. interview on the Butte, value of pension records, etc.
The reasoning in 2016/7 for establishing a podcast were:
- There is a gap in the market. There are a number of podcasts covering all aspects of history, a few deal with aspects of military history, such as Dan Snow’s History Hit podcast and History Extra podcast, but none cover the Great War.
- Podcasts and audio on demand are exploding globally. Podcast listeners actively choose their own content—and normally listen using headphones—making them an extremely captive audience. There is no better kind.
- Podcasts could reach a younger audience. In the USA, half of all podcast listeners are aged between 12-34 and 48% are female. This could build membership.
- Podcasts are good for people on the go, driving or on the train where people have more time in the day to listen to audio than read a blog or watch a video.
- Podcasts are a potential source of advertising revenue. Podcast listeners tend to be more educated and have higher incomes when compared with the rest of the population. In the USA, 24% of Americans with a college degree listen to podcasts weekly compared with the 10% of Americans without a college degree.
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